1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

1 Timothy 6:8

ESV But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
NIV But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
NASB If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
CSB If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
NLT So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.
KJV And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

What does 1 Timothy 6:8 mean?

Here Paul continues his teaching on contentment. This verse speaks of the most basic, necessary aspects of survival. These essentials were provided to highlight the contrast between essentials and wealth. Or, in a more common modern phrasing, the difference between "needs" and "wants." In this case, especially, Paul speaks from a position of personal experience. In fact, this ability to endure a lack of "wants," and even a scarcity of "needs," is the kind of trial for which Paul declares the Christian uniquely empowered (Philippians 4:10–13).

The next verse highlights the danger of being overly obsessed with obtaining desires, as opposed to simply meeting our needs. Those who desire wealth or love money fall in to temptation. As believers, our goal should be to focus on having daily essentials and living for God, not wealth and luxury. Jesus personally modeled this kind of simplicity in His years of ministry with His disciples. Rather than seeking power and fortune for His teachings, He depended on the financial support of others, even living without a home at times (Matthew 8:20).

This perspective cannot be separated from the teaching of verse 7. Nothing we "own" in this life is ours forever. We begin and end life with no material possessions. God neither owes nor promises us worldly success. Even as we give our best efforts to grow what God has entrusted to us, we need to be satisfied with what we have.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: